It Takes a Village

I’m sure you have heard of the lovely African proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.  The African culture recognises parenting as a shared responsibility, a communal affair.

I love this concept and I believe that you need a village in order to overcome your fears, to achieve your goals and most importantly to heal. When I first started my journey I thought I had a village  but unfortunately I was wrong.  Many of whom I valued and thought would be my biggest supporters were the least interested.

After being part of a group for many years the realisation that you never really held the position in the group you thought you did and that your only worth was ‘being the entertainment’ hurt deeply.  Of course I now understand we don’t lose friends we just learn who the real ones are.

So I decided to create my own village

The people we spend our time with have an impact on our state of mind and our mood whether we realise it or not. I say you can catch negativity like you can catch a yawn.  We become and will act like those we are close to so choose your village carefully.

Have you got a certain individual who always brings you down? Dampens your spirits and tells you that you can’t achieve your goals? Do they try to disguise this negativity by telling you they are looking out for you, they don’t want you to fail?

In my experience that person doesn’t want you to achieve your goal. They are probably more worried about what the change in you will mean for them rather than what it will mean for you.  Let me tell you these people will not change, so you have to and you have to shut it down.

Blocking negativity is hard and, believe me, it will feel uncomfortable, but first you start by limiting your time with them, this way you will fully experience just how much they effect you.  They will try and suck you back in but if you remain strong you will feel the improvement in your quality of life, and I can assure you, you will always limit the time you spend with them if you choose to at all.

On my darkest days, when the voices in my head are loud and angry, I turn to my village and they will help me through, some days without even knowing it. Don’t expect to build your village overnight it will take time. Some people will be in your village for a while and they may choose to leave, or you may decide they no longer belong. Whatever the reason take the learning whether it be positive of negative.

So  in order to create your village you must find a coach/mentor, they are your ‘connector’ they will be connected to other positive people because positivity is attractive. Surround yourself with winners, those who have ambition and the same moral compass as you.

During dark days these people will be your saving grace

Join different groups so that you can meet new people. I am a member of a bootcamp, here I am surround by achievers, people who are striving for more, always wanting to better themselves. The majority of the people there I only see for an hour a week but they provide me with such encouragement in one hour that when I leave I feel great. These people are part of my village, you don’t have to live in someones pocket in order for them to have meaning in your life.

I now have a handful of friends who I socialise and confide in, there is no pressure on these relationships and I enjoy the time I spend with them immensely. These people add quality to my life not quantity.

The other way to build your village is read or listen to the people that inspire and motivate you. If you are reading a book or listening to a motivational speech you are in effect spending time with these people that makes them part of your village.

You will meet people along the way that you would really like to be part of your village but they may not always be ready to join you.  Don’t write those people off, they just aren’t ready to take the same steps as you right now.

Offer that person kindness, it is said that the positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain from those who gave kindness, those who received it and those who witnessed it.  I recently received a random act of kindness it had such a positive effect on me, it felt euphoric.

Finally remeber people in your village are there to encourge and support you but you have to rely on yourself because only you can create your own fate.  So when you feel like quitting or things don’t go as planned as they often will, your village will be there but ultimately you are the one the one that has to move forward.

Its up to you to commit to change

As always believe in you and em-brace the journey.

Love

Em x

‘ Create a village, encourage one another and open your village to others’

New Year, New Me & All That Jazz

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Happy New year

It’s new year already and Christmas is already a distant memory to me.  I have to say I am so relieved that it is no longer socially acceptable to eat your body weight in mince pies and sausages rolls.

I told myself that I was going to get through December with only two days of indulging, yeah right who was I kidding? For the other 11 months of the year my friends, family, co-workers hold me accountable to my eating habits whether this be consciously or not.

Then suddenly it’s December and now I am encouraged to divert from those habits and indulge in chocolate, sweet treats, alcohol oh and cheese (how i love cheese).  Before I know it healthy eating is no more and those bad habits of mine are starting to creep back in.  So much so I find myself tip toeing to the kitchen to warm up mince pies and custard at 3am.

I guess at this point it sounds like I’m blaming others for my own lack of willpower so I want to be clear that this is not the case.  I have never been successful in losing weight until now and one of my pet hates every time I have been on a diet has been people commenting or asking me should I be eating that.

But now as I reflect on the big weight gains I’ve had during December I recognise that I actually need to be held accountable and that so many individuals play a supportive role in my weight loss success.  These people make me stop for a second, take stock, re-evaluate and think twice about some of my choices and I will probably always be someone who will need this kind of input.

On a positive note I did not drop out of any of my training during December and even when my trainers stopped for the Christmas break I was still in the gym. I can only be honest with you and say I really don’t know why I kept this going, I don’t know why I let everything else drop but my workout routine, maybe I’ll figure it out in the future.

So here we are new year, new me and all that jazz but is it really a new me or is it about finding the old the me? Am I really a new health conscious me and did I just check out for a while or am I and will I always be the old me who makes poor food choices?

I choose to believe I am the new me who just checked out for a while and ladies and gentlemen I am about to check in!

So these are my top tips for getting back on track and what I will be doing during January

1. Get rid of the crap – I mean what are you keeping it for? if you truly want to get back on track or your starting a new journey get rid of the rubbish it will only hinder your progress.  I know some people feel like they can’t get rid of the rubbish food because they don’t want to waste it if this is the case for you then donate it to your local food bank. It’s a win, win!

2. Keep a food and exercise diary – you can buy food and physical activity diaries on line or in a number of stores or you can just write in your own diary, notes on your phone or computer.  I find that recording what I have consumed and how much activity I have taken really helps to keep me focused and on track.

3. Increase your water intake – I know for sure I will be dehydrated as my main fluid intake has been, wine, fizzy drinks and coffee.  I will be increasing my water intake and this will also help with the cravings I will have from eating all the sugary foods that my body is no longer used too.

4. 10k steps per day – I firmly believe in achieving 10k steps per day and this will be so easy for those who have a job where they move around but if you are like me and office based it’s a little bit more difficult but definitely achievable. I will walk before work, during my lunch break and  walk to the furthest bathroom, you have to be creative.

5. Invest in a activity tracker – most smart phones now have a built in activity tracker but I have a Fitbit which I highly recommend.  I find I am more motivated if I have my Fitbit and I can challenge myself and others.

6. Don’t let fear define you – if there is something you have been wanting to do and have been putting off do it this month – just do it! It feels so liberating to do something you have mentally told yourself you can’t.  This month I am going to attend a new physical activity session this makes me feel so anxious but I’m doing it!

7. Read more – I am a huge bookworm but I only ever read fiction. I will be reading a form of self help book this month ensuring I read for 10 minutes everyday.  First up will be the 5 second rule by Mel Robbins.

If anyone would like to discuss my top tips in more detail please feel free to e-mail me.  Also I would love to hear about your goals and tips for getting through January please share in the comments.

Until the next time I wish you all every success in concurring your future goals. As always believe in you and em-brace the journey.

Em x

This is Me

Ahhhh it’s my first blog post!

It seems like the right time to introduce myself and get this blog started as we are just two sleeps away from 2019.

2018 has been a crazy journey for me with some highs and some lows.

Firstly I got married on the 23rd October 2018 (massive high) to my soul mate, my love and my best friend and it was 8 months prior to this my story began.

I have been heavily overweight all of my adult life. I have tried every diet, I have taken extreme measures and actions out of sheer despair but I was never successful.

I have developed deep rooted issues as a result of my weight and I will discuss these in more depth as you get to know me and take this journey with me.

So without getting to deep at this point let me quickly bring you up to speed and tell you some key points about me.

In the last 8 months I lost a total of 4.5 stones through sheer determination. I did things so far out of my comfort zone I’m still amazed at how far I’ve come.

Unfortunately following my wedding and until present day I have gained back a stone of the loss.

I have received a huge amount of support along the way and the encouragement has kept me going. I didn’t receive support where I most expected it in some cases but that’s another blog post!

So what can you expect from my blog?

I speak as I find and I can assure you it’s a rarity for me to be lost for words. You can expect me to talk about those sensitive subjects and you can expect me to be honest and genuine.

Have you ever been turned away from a fairground ride because your to fat?

I have

Have you ever been in a full restaurant and sat down on a chair and it break beneath you?

I have

Have you ever wished every night that you were somebody else?

I have

Aside from feeling at times such an overwhelming sense of hopelessness I am finally starting to believe in me and feel a sense of worth and this is the reason for sharing my story.

I know that there are others who feel that despair and worthlessness and I hope that in some way I help others see their worth and encourage them to embrace their own journey.

From me you can expect sincerity, loyalty and support. For I know what it is like to be deprived of that but equally this year I know how it feels to receive it.

It’s AMAZING!!!

I want anyone who is struggling to feel that feeling.

I should also add that I am slightly crazy and I’m told there’s never a dull moment when I’m around (I think it’s my slightly dramatic nature)

So that’s a small part of me for now I promise there’s much more to come but I need to ease you in gently!

I can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for me and I hope you will join me.

Believe in yourself and always em-brace the journey.

Em x

‘If you don’t like the road your walking on, start paving another one’ – Dolly Parton